The Sane Teacher’s Guide to Technology Integration

Never been a technology geek or guru? Still rather think of a mouse as something that eats cheese than rolls around on your desk? Yet as a conscientious teacher, you KNOW your students should be practicing technology and information literacy skills.This workshop explores how good teaching practices and the content area curriculum can be enhanced through the judicious use of technology upgrades that support best practice. Examples of real student technology enhanced projects are given and a staff development model based on adult learning needs is described.

GoSoapBox online discussion and polling tool

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Just in Case, Just in Time, Just in Part: Three Levels in Staff Development in Technology

A Work in Progress (Becoming personally empowered by technology)

CODE 77 Basic Rubrics (2009)

The Technology Upgrade
Constructivists say that you can’t learn something for which you have no frame of reference. One way to help your teachers ease their way into integrating technology into their curricula is to help them take something they already do, and add a technology “upgrade.” Find below 10 common activities that your classroom teachers may be already doing and some ways technology can be used to “upgrade” the learning process.
Current activity=== ===
Technology upgrade=== ===
Teacher lecture

Computer presentation program/Interactive White Board
Graphics, sounds, movies, and photographs to more clearly illustrate concepts and heighten student interest. Easy to keep notes.
Student writing

Word processed, desktop published.
Easily edited, spell-checked, handwriting-proof. Added illustrations or graphics. On-line peer review and commentary.
Student research

Use electronic or on-line resources such an electronic encyclopedia, magazine index, Internet resources.

Book reports
Use database with fields for title, author, publisher, date, genre, summary and recommendation.

Math problems

Plays, skits or debates

Create a timeline

Student speeches, demonstrations or lessons

Drawings to illustrate concepts or accompany writing


Know that you know the basics: Rubrics to Guide Professional Development, L&L
Advanced CODE 77 Rubrics: Rubrics for Restructuring 2012
Danielson and Technology

A Tale of Three Teachers

Here is how an advanced staff development model helped three teachers in three different ways:

Mike’s Plan for Improving His Students’ Writing Abilities (Rubric II)
One of the goals of the middle school where Mike taught Language Arts was to improve student writing. Working with his language arts curriculum chair and building staff development committee, Mike’s professional growth plan included:
  • Review current literature and interviewing one of the state’s “best practices” experts on process writing and the use of technology.
  • Attending the state’s technology conference to see demonstrations of writing software and hear of the experiences of other teachers who have tried using technology to improve student writing.
  • Taking a class in and experimenting with prewriting software (Inspiration) on two student writing assignments.
  • Using individual portable computers (AlphaSmarts) on two writing assignments.
  • Comparing the results of the technology-enhanced writing products with those using standard writing practices.

Mike’s portfolio included:
  • Printouts of three articles summarizing current uses of technology in teaching writing.
  • Sample “concept maps” generated by students in his classes as a part of prewriting assignments.
  • Writing samples of individual students evidencing differences between handwritten work and word-processed work.
  • A brief summary of his observations on using technology as a part of the writing process. (Prewriting software led some students to better organization and more depth in their writing; spelling, readability, and enthusiasm improved when students used the portable computers; a lack of keyboarding skills prevented many students from writing with the portable computers successfully.) Mike found that his experiences supported what research and best practices were saying about technology and writing, and he plans to keep using both the prewriting software and portable computers next year.

Carol Tries a Project that Asks for Primary Sources (Rubric IV)
The state’s new graduation requirements ask that all history students do a project requiring primary research. Carol decided she wanted to place this requirement in her 11th grade world history class’s World War II unit. Her plan included:
  • Working with the social studies chair and media specialist to determine the outcomes of the unit.
  • Taking after school workshops on locating and evaluating information sources on the Web taught by the school media specialist.
  • Designing and teaching a unit that would ask students to find information on contemporary hate groups and compare their views and propaganda strategies to radical political groups of the 1930s and 1940s. The students’ findings would be shared in a multimedia presentation with the rest of the class.
  • Working with the school’s assessment coach to design a checklist assessment tool for the presentations.

Carol’s portfolio included:
  • A bibliography of resources and teaching materials on historical and contemporary hate groups.
  • A collection of comments from students and parents about the project. (Highly positive.)
  • A copy of the assessment tool and brief evaluation of the project with suggested improvements for the following year’s classes.

Chris Improves Home School Communications (Rubric VIII)
Third grade teacher Chris wanted to help improve his students’ work completion rate, and felt he needed the help of their parents to do so. His principal agreed that his goal was important. Using Rubrics for Restructuring VIII as a guide, Chris mapped out a growth plan and a portfolio. His plan included:
  • Collecting parent email addresses during preconferences (He found over 75% of his students’ parents had email access either at home or at work.)
  • Setting a goal of sending one email message about class happenings each week to parents.
  • Taking a class in web page building so he could create a classroom web page that would display student work, contain information and links about class projects, and explain classroom expectations. He also put out the week’s spelling word list.
  • At his principal’s suggestion, Chris teamed with the building media special to teach an evening class to parents who wanted to know more about getting Internet access and using it.

Chris’s portfolio at the end of the year included:
  • Printouts of sample emails sent to parents and comments received back from parents.
  • Printouts of his website.
  • A short evaluative summary of the plan including anecdotal evidence of its effect on work completion rate (much improved), the reception of electronic communication by parents (very positive), the success of the parent training session (low turn out, but positive for those who attended), and suggestions for other teachers attempting to do the same and for the district (create templates for classroom web pages). Chris felt the first year’s implementation of this plan was more work than he had anticipated, but the results were worth it.

Written comments about this presentation:
  • ….just minutes after you left the middle school…I walked into the lobby and three of the middle school teachers were talking about how they would incorporate some of the strategies that you spoke about into their lessons! I was thrilled! So thank you for sharing your ideas and insights with us. We really enjoyed your visit!